Arnold Newman is credited with creating the genre of "environmental portraiture," which replaced the studio setting with a context familiar to the sitter. He often photographed artists in their workplaces, surrounded by objects they had made. Oddly, this portrayal of two of America's most accomplished artists was made in a stark white room, focusing attention on their darkly robed figures. The couple had been living separate lives since 1933, when O'Keeffe could no longer tolerate Stieglitz's infidelities. This portrait shows them, somewhat grimly, as two strongly independent individuals. Newman has used the space between his subjects to draw a portrait of a complex relationship.